GSF Earns Second Chairman’s Challenge Award


Opelika named as GSF’s Top-Performing Global Facility of 2022; earns highest company honor for second consecutive year. 



Last week, Golden State Foods (GSF) celebrated the 2022 Chairman’s Challenge Award winner, GSF’s Opelika Protein Products manufacturing facility — a repeat winner and only the second facility in GSF history to win the company’s highest honor for two consecutive years. A highly anticipated annual tradition for 23 years, the prestigious award recognizes the Opelika team’s exemplary performance in the areas of people, quality, growth, financial results and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG).

“Congratulations and sincere thanks to all of our phenomenal Opelika associates on their tremendous success in earning the Chairman’s Challenge honors for two years in a row — a remarkable accomplishment that has only happened one other time in this award’s more than two decades in existence,” said Mark Wetterau, chairman and CEO of Golden State Foods. “Our extraordinary Protein Products team joins a highly exceptional circle of multi-year Chairman’s Challenge achievers.”

Highlighting the award-winning facility’s numerous achievements throughout 2022, GSF Corporate Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Brian Dick announced the Chairman’s Challenge Award at GSF’s Global Leadership Conference in Las Vegas. During the company’s annual awards ceremony, GSF Board Member Conrad Wetterau joined Dick in congratulating the 2022 Chairman’s Challenge winner on the award, which resulted from Opelika’s many accomplishments throughout the past year. These accomplishments include performing to the highest standards in quality audits conducted internally, externally and with customers; successfully supporting customer demand while overcoming supply chain challenges; servicing customers through innovative solutions that increase equipment efficiencies; excelling in cost management; delivering financial results; improving associate experience survey scores; earning an industry safety award; and sustaining active GSF Foundation associate participation and community involvement.

“What an incredible, historic honor for our well-deserving Protein Products associates, as we have tirelessly pursued excellence together and driven this two-year winning streak with dedication and perseverance,” said Nate Murphy, group vice president of Operations – Protein Products. “What sets this outstanding Opelika team apart is the passion we share to consistently put people first, to innovate and to live out our GSF Creed and Values in all we do for our customers, our community and our company.”

In addition to its second consecutive Chairman’s Challenge Award, the Opelika team earned GSF’s 2022 Quality Focus Award and Safety Excellence Award, as well as its third consecutive GSF “Best in Class” Platinum Award in the food processing category. Comprising the finalists for Chairman’s Challenge, the company’s annual “Best in Class” awards honor large facilities (Platinum Awards) and small facilities (Diamond Awards) in distribution and food processing.

For 2022, GSF Fresh! China won the “Best in Class” Diamond Award in the food processing category for its third consecutive year. The distribution category winners include first-time honoree Quality Custom Distribution (QCD) Chicago West for the 2022 “Best in Class” Platinum Award and another repeat winner in its category, QCD Phoenix, Arizona, for the 2022 “Best in Class” Diamond Award.


Golden State Foods (GSF), one of the largest diversified suppliers to the food service and retail industries, feeds 1 billion people every day. Headquartered in Irvine, California, the multi-national company is values-based with proven performance in superior quality, innovation and customer service. Established in 1947, GSF and its family of companies currently service more than 100 leading brands (125,000-plus restaurants and stores in more than 50 countries) from its 50-plus locations on five continents. Its core businesses include the manufacture of liquid products, protein, produce, dairy/aseptic and it provides custom distribution services. The company employs approximately 6,000 associates and is 100% management-owned and run. Golden State Foods also operates a national nonprofit organization, the GSF Foundation.


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